Defense Department agencies and the armed services have a tall order from the secretary. Robert Gates has called for $100 million in spending reductions over the next five years. He wants to cut overhead and support costs so the funds can be redeployed to more direct warfighting needs. The Program Objective Memoranda, or POMs, have been submitted by DoD components. (More from Jim McAleese, defense analyst and principal at McAleese & Associates, on the Federal Drive at 8:40.)
The Pentagon is sending six helicopters from Afghanistan to help move relief supplies and refugees in flooded areas of Pakistan. Four CH-47 Chinooks can each carry dozens of people on stretchers, or haul large loads of equipment and supplies. Two smaller UH-60 Black Hawks will also be provided. The helicopters were supposed to arrive Tuesday but were delayed by bad weather. The Pentagon says they’ll fly when the weather clears. The helicopters will be flown by U.S. crews at the discretion of the Pakistani military. Pakistan is skittish about U.S. military presence, but has accepted humanitarian help in the past.
The Rolling Stone reporter whose article ended Army General Stanley McChrystal’s military career has been denied the chance to embed with troops in Afghanistan. The Pentagon says reporter Michael Hastings wanted to accompany American forces in September. But the Defense Department has turned down the request, as it ramps up an internal investigation into some of the most salacious material Hastings used in his article. Hastings quoted McChrystal and his aides criticizing and mocking the Obama administration. McChrystal, who led forces in Afghanistan, was recalled to Washington and fired.